Dehydration is the reduction in total body water.
How to detect dehydration.
To check for dehydration on your dog, gently pull the skin at the back of your dogs neck, in doing so it should spring back to the normal position within 1-2 seconds. This is called ‘ skin tenting’. If it takes longer to return to its normal position, contact a vet as your dog maybe dehydrated. In older animals it may take longer as they loose the elasticity in their skin as they age.
If you suspect your dog is dehydrated or unsure contact your with your vet or nearest animal medical centre.
Ways to beat dehydration
Ensure that there is plenty of cool shade for your dog at all times.
Plenty of clean fresh water, more than 1 bucket in case your dog, like mine, tips the bucket over and could be left all day without water.
One of the most common questions I get asked at this time of year is how do I stop my dog digging. Dogs dig, but mostly because they are trying to get to the cooler sand. How to try and prevent this. A childs plastic shell/pool is a great idea, fill it with sand, put it in a shaded area and water it down on a regular basis, your dog will most likely dig here first because it’s cool.
A childs shell pool is another great way to keep your dog cool and enriched. Try filling one with water and freezing cool drink bottles filled with water overnight. In the morning put them in the pool, it keeps the water cool. Be sure to take the tops and any rings off to prevent your dog swallowing them. If your dog/s anything like mine, there will be a couple of empty drink bottles in the back yard which is usually a good sign that they have been occupied for awhile.
Frozen kongs and ice blocks are another great way to help your dog beat the heat.
Filling a kong with chicken stock or add a little fruit or chicken and freeze them overnight. I plug the small end of the kong with a wad of peanut butter, but sure peanut butter is suitable for your dog, it forms a good seal to stop the stock leaking. Cream cheese is another good alternative but again be sure that this is suitable for your dog to eat.
Empty ice cream containers a great one for freezing water and pieces of food in, you can also pop them out of the container if you don’t want it destroyed and it’s a great way to keep your dog occupied.